The British Sandwich & Food To Go Association has agreed to take on a Statutory Primary Authority Role to represent its members and encourage consistent standards across the industry by providing Assured Advice on environmental health and trading standards issues.
What is Assured Advice?
Essentially, the Assured Advice Scheme means that issues directly affecting sandwich and food to go businesses can be dealt with consistently across the UK so that everyone is treated the same. By following the guidance we produce under the scheme, ALL local enforcement officers (including environmental health and trading standards) must accept the procedures set out in that guidance.
What is Assured Guidance?
On issues that affect the sandwich and food to go industry as a whole, the Association will work with Government agencies and its Primary Authority (Slough Borough Council) to produce and agree guidance for the industry which, once approved, becomes Assured Advice. Under the BSA Assured Advice scheme this guidance must be respected by enforcement officers across the country and all members following that guidance are protected from being challenged on it. Furthermore, if members have any problems in relation to the advice, they can refer them to the Association who will take them up on their behalf.
A good example of this would be the Labelling Guidelines that have been drawn up by the Association and which set out how current Food Labelling legislation should be applied by UK sandwich and food to go businesses. Guidance that is covered by this scheme is published on the Association’s website and is marked as ‘Assured Advice’ to differentiate it from Association advice.
The scheme has the full backing of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
How does this help you?
One of the most difficult things for businesses is the inconsistency that can sometimes occur in the way different enforcement officers interpret regulations, particularly where businesses trading across different authorities. Through the Assured Advice scheme that interpretation is made by the Association in consultation with its Primary Authority and local enforcement officers must respect that interpretation.
By following the Association’s Assured Advice members are protected and, if they are ever challenged on it by a local authority, they simply refer the matter to the Association which will take it up on their behalf, saving them time and worry.
No Need to Sign up
All members of the Association are covered by the scheme unless they opt out of it and there is no cost involved.
The only time there may be a cost is if the Associations take up a specific issue on behalf of a member business that is not covered by Assured Advice but members will always be told in advance if this is likely to happen.